Canada Citizen / PR Dependent Visa
How to Get Canada Permanent Resident Visa?
A popular choice for those looking to migrate to another country is Canada. And why not? The immigrant-friendly policies of Canada and the government’s encouragement of migrants to come and settle here have motivated many to try and migrate here.
Apart from this, settling down in Canada holds the promise of a comfortable lifestyle and the right living conditions. There are numerous job opportunities and the promise of personal freedom.
One of the options to migrate to Canada is to obtain a Permanent Resident (PR) visa. With a PR visa, you will be given permanent resident status. The validity of a PR visa is five years which can later be renewed.
The PR visa does not make you a citizen of Canada; you are still a citizen of your native country. As a PR visa holder, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Can apply for Canadian citizenship in the future
- Can live, work and study anywhere in Canada
- Eligible for healthcare and other social benefits enjoyed by Canadian citizens
- Protection under Canadian law
You will have to exclusively apply for the PR visa if you are a student or a worker from a foreign country, it does not automatically make you a permanent resident of the country.
Refugees from another country do not automatically become permanent residents. Their status as a refugee must be approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Subsequent to this, they can apply for and obtain a PR status.
How does one obtain a Permanent Resident (PR) visa?
To get a PR visa, you will have to go through an application process. The applications go through elaborate scrutiny. The eligibility for a Canada PR visa is through a points-based system. The applicants are assessed on various points such as age, language, education and work experience.
Canada offers different immigration programs through which you can apply for permanent residency status. Among these the most popular are:
- Express Entry Program
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Business Immigration Program
- Family class Immigration
- Experience class Immigration
How do I use the Express Entry system for a PR visa?
A candidate applying for the PR visa through the Express Entry program will have to go through a points-based selection system. The Express Entry System basically consists of three sub-categories:
- Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
If you are a skilled worker, you can apply for a PR visa under the Federal Skilled Workers Program. This was initiated by the Canadian government in 2015 to encourage skilled workers to come and settle in the country. To qualify under this program, you should be able to get 67 points out of 100 in the eligibility factors given below:
- Age: Those between 18-35 years get maximum points. Those above 35 get lesser points while the maximum age to qualify is 45 years.
- Education: Under this category, your educational qualification must be equal to higher secondary education under Canadian standards.
- Work experience: For minimum points, you should have at least one-year of full-time work experience. More years of work experience means more points. Your occupation must be listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
- Language ability: You must have at least 6 bands in your IELTS test and the score must be less than 2 years old. You get extra points if you are proficient in French.
- Adaptability: If your spouse or common-law partner is willing to migrate with you to Canada, you are entitled to 10 extra points for adaptability.
- Arranged employment: You can gain a maximum of 10 points if you have a valid offer from a Canadian employer.
What happens if I qualify for a PR visa through the Express Entry program?
If you are lucky enough to qualify for a PR visa through the Express Entry program, you can be selected from a pool of eligible candidates based on your Express Entry profile. You will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canada PR status. If you get your ITA you can start the documentation process for your PR visa.
Provincial Nominee Program
Canada offers nearly 80 different Provincial Nominee Program or PNP which have their individual eligibility requirements. The PNP program allows provinces to meet their individual immigration needs by helping them fill jobs that are in demand and meet labor shortages in their province.
Most PNPs require applicants to have some connection to the province. They should have either worked earlier in that province or studied there. Or they should have a job offer from an employer in the province for a job visa.
However, there are some PNPs which require no previous connection to the province you are applying for, you can apply directly to the PNP program of that province.
Some of the popular PNP programs are:
- Saskatchewan PNP
- Manitoba PNP
- Alberta PNP
- Ontario PNP
- New Brunswick PNP
Eligibility criteria for the PNP:
An applicant must score a minimum number of points to be able to apply for a PR visa. Here are the various criteria under which you can score points to meet the eligibility requirement:
- Work experience
- Language ability
- Arranged employment
Application for a PR visa through the PNP program requires the applicants to have some connection to the province. You can be either working in that province or have studied there. You can be eligible if you have a job offer from an employer in the province.
The criteria for evaluating the PR application can differ for each province.
The PNP is an option you can choose if your CRS points score is not high enough and you still get your provincial nomination. When making your PNP application you can choose a province from where it will be easy to get a nomination based on your profile.
Express Entry linked PNPS:
Those wishing to apply for the PNP programs linked with Express Entry pool must first create an Express Entry profile. There is also the option for applying under the non-Express Entry aligned PNPs.
If you are applying under such a PNP, you can add 600 CRS points to your Express Entry application. This increases your possibility of getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for your PR visa in the subsequent invitation round. Those wishing to apply for such PNP programs must first create an Express Entry profile.
Need for PNP:
More than 80 percent of migrants prefer to settle down in the big cities and municipalities. Provinces are looking at steering immigrants away from the big cities to settle in provinces to promote development in smaller cities and municipalities and contribute to their economic development. Many provinces and territories recently introduced regional PNP streams to encourage migrants to move to regional areas.
How do I qualify for a PR visa through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?
If you feel that you may not get the required points for a PR visa under the Express Entry program, you can consider the Provincial Nominee Program. There are two ways to use the PNP program to get your PR visa.
- If any province requires a profile like yours, they can select your profile for nomination and send you an invitation to apply for a PR visa.
- If you want to settle in a specific Canadian province, you can directly apply to that province.
- If you meet the requirements you will receive a nomination from the province. You can apply for permanent residency after you receive the nomination form.
Another advantage of using the PNP program is you can include the points you scored in the Express Entry Program if you applied for a PR visa under that program earlier. These points will be added to your PNP profile.
Canada Annual Targets & ITAs:
Business Immigration Program:
Individuals interested in doing business in Canada can apply for a PR visa through the Canada Business Immigration Program. This program was designed to encourage migrants who can invest or establish a business in Canada. They must be high net worth individuals or must have either business or managerial experience to establish and run a business in Canada. The Canadian government has specified three categories of people for this type of visa.
- Self Employed Persons
Family Class Immigration:
Individuals who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada can sponsor their family members for PR status if they are 18 years or older. They are eligible to sponsor the following categories of family members:
- Conjugal partner
- Common-law partner
- Dependent or adopted children
Eligibility requirements for a sponsor:
Apart from being above 18 years and being a PR visa holder or Canadian citizen, a sponsor must:
- Provide proof that he/she has the financial support to support family members or dependents
- With the government’s approval, he/she must agree to support the family members being sponsored for a certain amount of time
- Must be residing in Canada or have the intention to live in the country during the arrival of the sponsored relative
- Must not be bankrupt
- Must not be charged with any criminal offense
- Must not be under a removal order if he/she is a Permanent Resident
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class or CEC program is aimed to help foreign workers or students who are staying on a temporary basis in Canada to become permanent residents. It considers their work experience or education and their contribution to Canadian society for granting PR status.
You can qualify for this visa if you have studied or worked in Canada and meet the minimum requirements. The other important eligibility requirements are:
- 12 months of work experience- either full-time or part-time in the past three years
- Work experience must have proper authorization
- Applicant must have plans to live in a province outside Quebec
- Meet the language proficiency requirements
Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
Quebec has its own Provincial Nominee Program known as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). This is an immigration program that provides a fast and convenient way to migrate to Canada.
This immigration program started with the goal of attracting more immigrants to come and settle in Quebec without the necessity of going through a lengthy immigration process.
Through this program, skilled workers can apply for the Quebec Selection Certificate or Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). It is not necessary for applicants to have a valid job offer in order to migrate to Quebec. However, those with a job offer are given higher priority.
The QSWP is also based on a points-based system like the Express Entry System.
The application process involves just two steps:
Step 1: Send in the completed application form along with the documents required. The Immigration authorities will then verify your documents.
Step 2: You will be issued a CSQ by the immigration authorities which allows you to migrate to and remain in Quebec for 3 months. You can apply for a PR Visa after this period.
What are the documents required for the PR application process?
- Valid passport
- Proof of age
- Identity proof
- Certificates to support your educational qualifications
- IELTS scorecard with the valid score
- Certificates to prove medical fitness
- Police clearance certificate
What are the steps to apply for Canadian PR visa?
Once you have decided on the immigration program through which you are applying for a PR visa and gathered the required documents, follow these steps in your application:
Note: If you have applied through the Express Entry program, you will have to apply within 90 days if you get an invitation to apply.
Complete your language ability tests even before you start the application process. Take the IELTS exam and get the required scores. If required, you might need to take a French-language test.
Submit your application based on the requirements of the immigration program you have decided on.
Submit all the required documents. Ensure you provide only genuine documents. Remember that the education and work experience documents require authentication.
Gather the required documents for proof of funds to support your stay in Canada. Get your medical checkup and police verification records ready.
Your documents will go through a mandatory examination by an immigration officer. Be prepared to provide any additional information if required.
You will receive confirmation of your PR status and will receive a COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) card.
Apply for your PR card
The general processing time for the PR visa is 5 to 8 months. However, the processing time depends on the program under which you made an application. For instance, if you applied under the CEC program your application will be processed within three to four months.
What are the Canada PR application fees?
To get your Canada PR you will need to pay the PR fees for yourself as the primary applicant, your spouse and the dependents included in the PR application. Here is the breakup of the PR fees:
- Primary applicant – CAD 825 (without right of permanent residence fees)
- Primary applicant – CAD 1,325 (with right of permanent residence fees)
- Spouse – CAD 825 (without right of permanent residence fees)
- Spouse – CAD 1325 (with right of permanent residence fees)
- Child (under 22 years) – CAD 225
Apart from this, you will have to pay for the following parts of your PR application:
- ECA from WES fees- CAD 305 per person
- IELTS test fees-CAD 259 per person
- Medical test fees- CAD 60 per person
- PCC fees-CAD 20 per person
Proof of funds:
Immigration candidates should also provide proof of funds called settlement funds to prove that they have the required funds to support their stay and that of their dependents once they come to Canada till they are able to earn their income in the country. Letters from banks where the money is deposited is required as proof. The settlement funds will vary depending on the number of family members of the primary PR applicant.
Variations in cost:
If you decide to take the services of an immigration consultant to help you in the PR visa process, then you will have to factor in the cost of their services while calculating the cost of your PR visa.
Total cost for a PR visa:
The total cost of your PR visa will be the sum of your application fees for you and your spouse and dependents, fees for medical examination, English language test, ECA fees, PCC fees, etc.
Knowledge of the Canada PR visa process and the expenses involved will give you a good idea of the total costs and the expenses you will need to incur for the visa.
Processing time for Canada PR
The processing time also depends on the type of application or the immigration program you have applied to. The processing times vary based on the number of applications received for each immigration program. Some immigration programs get the same number of applications every month, so the processing time does not vary. Some programs may get more applications in one month and lesser in other months, this causes a variation.
Some other factors that could affect your processing time:
- The time is taken by the immigration department to process your application
- The time is taken to verify the information sent by you
- The response time from your end for any requests for information
Different processing times for different immigration programs
If you have opted for the Express Entry Program to apply for your visa, the average time taken to process your visa will be six months. Your application is placed in the Express Entry pool and it will be ranked in relation to other applications based on your CRS (comprehensive ranking system). If you clear the cut-off, you will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for your permanent residency.
If you have opted for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the processing time is like the Express Entry program, but it takes a little longer. The processing time takes an average of 12 months.
For the Quebec skilled Workers Program (QSWP), the average processing time is between 12-16 months.
What a PR visa holder can and cannot do:
|PR visa holder can||PR visa holder cannot|
|• Live, work or study in any province
• Enjoy social security benefits and free healthcare coverage
• Apply for citizenship
• Avail protection under Canadian law
• Run for political office
• Hold jobs that require high-security clearance
What are the obligations of a PR visa holder?
If you are a PR visa holder, you must carry your PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when you are traveling to Canada. Without this, you may not be able to board a flight, boat, train or bus to the country.
You must ensure that the card is valid when you return to Canada after any travel outside the country. You should apply for a new PR card if your current one has expired.
What are the conditions for the renewal of a PR visa?
If you want to renew your PR card, ensure that you have lived in Canada for at least 730 days in the past five years. This need not be a period of continuous stay, but you need to have a record of staying in the country for this period to renew your visa. If you meet this requirement, you can apply for the renewal of your visa.
Residency obligation requirement for PR visa holders:
If you have a permanent residency in Canada, you will have to meet the residency obligation requirement as a PR visa holder. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada says that PR visa holders should comply with this requirement for every five-year period.
The residency obligation requires that you must spend a total of 730 days (roughly two years) during this five-year period. The 730 days need not be continuous, you can enter and exit the country any number of times. But you must ensure that you spend a minimum of 730 days in the five-year period. This is relevant when you apply for the renewal of your PR visa. If you do not meet the residency obligation you are at risk of not being able to renew your PR visa and losing your PR status.
This residency obligation is verified when you make an application for the renewal of your PR visa or apply for a permanent resident travel document. Your residency obligation will be assessed at the Canadian border.
If you were not able to spend 730 days in Canada during the five-year period, you can still meet the residency requirement under the following conditions:
- You had to travel with a spouse or parent who is a Canadian outside of Canada
- You had to work outside of Canada on a full-time basis for a Canadian business or the Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal government
- You had to accompany your spouse or parent who is a permanent resident and is working outside Canada for a Canadian business or the Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal government
The exemption can be made on humanitarian or compassionate grounds if you have breached the residency obligation.
Can you lose your PR status?
You run the risk of losing your PR visa if:
- An adjudicator declares you are not a permanent resident subsequent to an inquiry or PRTD appeal
- You give up your permanent resident status
- A removal order comes into force against you
- You become a Canadian citizen.
Getting your PR visa for Canada can be a long and complex process, however, the help of an immigration consultant can make it easier for you. Our expertise of over 15 years has helped many individuals in getting their Canada PR visa.
Canada Permanent resident travel document (PRTD)
Any person wishing to enter Canada must have a valid travel document and those who have been selected for a PR visa but have to travel to Canada before they get it can enter the country with a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) which they are eligible to apply.
In general, PRTDs are valid for one single entry into Canada, allowing a permanent resident to enter the country until a new PR card is issued. A permanent resident can only apply for a PR card from within Canada, hence the PRTD is often necessary to enter Canada. An individual can apply for the PRTD provided he meets the following criteria:
- He must have a valid PR card showing PR status
- He must be outside Canada
- He will return to Canada by airplane, train, boat or bus
- He must not be under a removal order
- He should not be a citizen of Canada
If an individual meets the PRTD requirements they may send a request. A visa officer will review the application to ensure it is complete and that the applicant has met his residency obligations.
If the residency obligations are not met, then the individual’s permanent resident status will be at risk.
If the applicant has failed to meet their residency obligations, then their status as a permanent resident may fall into jeopardy.
Immigrants from countries needing a visa for entry into Canada and who have obtained their permanent residence confirmation (COPR) should be given a travel visa with their COPR. This travel visa enables them to enter Canada and travel to a Canadian Port of Entry (POE) where they can begin the process of obtaining their PR visa. A newly approved permanent resident doesn’t need to receive a PRTD.
The PRTD can be used only once to enter Canada.
Federal Skilled Worker Program and Express Entry migration
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of the three programs within the Express Entry System that an aspiring immigrant can apply under for permanent residence in Canada.
Candidates wishing to apply under the FSWP for immigration to Canada must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by creating their online Express Entry profile.
The selection factors for the FSWP are like those for Express Entry and includes the following criteria:
- Work experience
- Language ability- this includes English and/or French language skills
- Having a valid job offer
To be eligible for the FSWP, candidates must score at least 67 points in all the above criteria.
Apart from this, candidates must fulfill the following conditions to qualify for the FSWP:
- Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation
- Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labor Market Impact Assessment and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer
- Have completed a Ph.D. in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a Ph.D. in a recognized institution
- A foreign educational credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) by an agency approved by CIC to show it is equal to a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential.
- Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English/French)
Apart from this, all applicants must meet the health and security requirements as indicated by the IRCC.
If an applicant meets the eligibility criteria, the application makes it to the Express Entry System after which they will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.
Documents to be submitted with the FSWP application:
- Completed application form
- Valid passport
- Receipt to prove the payment of processing fees
- Proof of identity and civil status
- Proof of educational and professional qualifications
- Proof of work experience
- Certificate proving language proficiency
- Canadian ECA
- Police clearance certificate
- Proof of having the required funds to support themselves and family members after coming to Canada
The applications for the Federal Skilled Workers Program are usually processed in six months or less.
Canada’s immigration pilot programs
The federal government’s strategy of launching pilot programs is an endeavor to improve the immigration programs of Canada. The pilot programs become a testing ground to assess whether the intended results are achieved before the immigration program becomes permanent.
Some popular and recent pilot programs
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
This immigration program was launched in 2017 to help bring more workers to the country’s Atlantic region that includes the four Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
It is the most successful pilot program launched so far. More than 4000 migrants have settled in the Atlantic region of Canada under this program. The government is proposing to make this program permanent with a target of at least 5000 migrants every year.
Under this employer-driven program which does not require an LMIA, employers in the Atlantic region can hire international workers. If a prospective immigrant receives a job offer from any of the participating employers, they will receive support for the immigration process to settle down in Canada.
To be eligible for the program, you must first get a job offer from one of the employers under the program.
The AIPP proposes to welcome more than 7,000 foreign nationals with their families by 2021 to the Atlantic Canada region. There are three programs under the AIPP:
- Atlantic High-skilled Program
- Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program
- Atlantic International Graduate Program
However, applicants can apply only under one of these programs. Each program has its own set of eligibility requirements. The best part is that this program offers a pathway to a PR visa.
Agri-food Immigration Pilot
The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot was launched in July 2019 to help meet the labor shortage in the agricultural sector in the country constantly deals with. The agri-food immigration pilot started accepting applications in May 2020. The pilot program was introduced to meet labor shortages in the agriculture industry.
Each year, the agri-food industry yields $110 billion in domestic sales plus an extra $65 billion in export sales. The industry supports 1 in every 8 Canadian jobs.
But talent shortages have stunted the agri-food industry’s potential for economic growth.
The agri-food immigration pilot is an attempt to hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) to meet the labor shortage in the industry. This is the first industry-specific immigration stream launched by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The program will allow a maximum of 2,750 candidates and their family members to submit applications every year.
The applications will be accepted till May 2023 according to the IRCC.
If the program runs for three years as planned will lead to 16,500 new permanent residents at the end of three years. The pilot program was launched to meet the labor needs in the agri-food sector in Canada.
In 2019, the federal government launched the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). Today the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia are participating in the RNIP.
Employers in Canada who sign up for the pilot program will be eligible for the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a period of two years.
Temporary foreign workers will also be able to apply under the pilot from this year.
How many points are required for Canada PR?
If you are an overseas skilled worker, you must opt for the FSW – Federal Skilled Worker stream to apply for Canada PR. You must score at least 67 points for the FSW stream. This is based on your French/English language proficiency, work experience, education, and age for creating a profile. You will enter the pool of candidates in the Express Entry system if selected.
How many IELTS bands are required for Canada PR?
The minimum IELTS bands requirement for an applicant of Canada PR is as follows:
- Express Entry: 6 bands in the individual module – Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening
- Provincial Nominee Program: 6 bands in the individual module – Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening
- Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (Stream Occupation in-demand): 4.5 bands in the individual module – Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening
- Quebec: CLB 5 (Speaking 5 bands, Writing 5 bands, Reading 4 bands, and Listening 5 bands)
What IELTS bands are required for applying for Canada PR?
Canada has 3 economic immigration programs under Express Entry. These are the pathways for skilled overseas workers to obtain the Canada PR. The IELTS bands required for applying for Canada PR through the 3 economic immigration programs are:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program:
The language test results must be better than or on par with CLB 7 (Canadian Language Benchmark) to apply through this program. CLB 7 corresponds to IELTS bands score of 6 for Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening.
- Canada Experience Class Program:
The minimum IELTS bands requirement for applying through this program is bands score of 6 if the occupation is in NOC A or 0. It is possible to apply with IELTS bands score of 5 for Speaking, Writing, Listening and 4 Reading if the occupation is in NOC B skill level.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program:
The language test results must be on par with CLB 4 (Canadian Language Benchmark) to apply through this program. CLB 4 corresponds to IELTS bands score of 4 for Speaking, Writing, 4.5 in Listening and 3.5 in Reading.
Nevertheless, the better your test results, the more the number of points you can score. This will also enhance your chances of immigrating through Canada PR Visa.
How can I get the Canada PR Visa?
The process to obtain the Canada PR Visa can be initiated individually by the interested applicants. However, given the elaborate documentation and process compliance required, it is highly advisable that you avail services of reputed Immigration and Visa Consultants to initiate the process.
At the basic level, the application for Canada PR Visa requires the applicant to:
- Provide criminal record check and medical certificate
- Fill and submit a complete application for PR Visa
- Pay the specified Visa fee
- Attend an interview with the Immigration Officers
Apart from this, the following may or may not be needed based on the category and nature of your application:
- Official translations, copies, and Original documents that support the application. This includes Educational Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees, Documents for Personal Identification or and Sponsor Letters, and appropriate information.
- Adequate funds to support oneself during the initial period in Canada
- Test results for Skills Assessment
- Evidence of status as a Refugee
- Test results for Language proficiency
- Additional fees
- Other tests or documentation
What is the Canada Super Visa?
This is a Multiple-entry long-term Canada Visa for grandparents and parents of a Canadian citizen or PR Visa holder. The PGP Super Visa is a provisional Resident Permit. It permits grandparents and parents to remain in Canada for a maximum of 2 years per visit. The validity of this Visa is a maximum of 10 years.
A normal Multiple-entry Visa also has a maximum validity of 10 years. But it permits a stay of only 180 days per visit.
Can a Canadian citizen sponsor a non-family member?
No, a citizen of Canada cannot sponsor an individual who is not a member of the family. This is if the individual is not a relative or member of the family class.
Kinds of Canada PR
Steps to apply for Canada PR
List of Draws till now in 2020?
|Sl. No.||Draw No.||Date of Draw||Minimum CRS||ITAs issued|
|Total ITAs issued in 2020 so far – 74,150.|
What is the period of validity of the Canada PR visa?
Canada PR visa is valid for five years
PR visa holders should be aware of the expiration date of their PR visa.
They will have to submit their renewal application six months before their PR visa expires.
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